Famous love triangles in history, literature and movies.
Forget Team Edward and Team Jacob. Love triangles can be traced back to their ancient roots in Camelot, where Queen Guinevere was forced to choose between King Arthur and Sir Lancelot. From there, history, literature and movies have been rife with tales of one unfortunate (and usually stunningly beautiful) woman's choice between two ridiculously handsome men. Life is tough, isn't it? I'm looking at you, Scarlett O'Hara.
A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Darnay is the good man, moral and noble, he weds the young Lucie Manette in Charles Dicken's classic novel A Tale of Two Cities. His protagonist is Sydney Carton, the cynical and alcoholic barrister, hopelessly in love with Darnay's wife. This love triangle is the time-worn tale of the good boy versus the bad boy. And in this instance the good boy gets the girl. Poor Sydney Carton. But I'm still Team Darnay all the way.
Anna Karenina is the hapless wife of Alexei Karenin, who falls in love with Alexei Vronsky. Karenin is 20 years his wife's senior, and while noble, is cold and distant. It is no wonder that Anna leaves him for Vronsky. But Vronksy is no catch, while Vronksy is passionate, he is exceedingly foppish. Consequently, two young lovers don't find happiness. I find Vronsky childish and wheedling. I'm Team Karenin. Or, scratch that, Team Tolstoy!
King Arthur versus Lancelot might be the love triangle that started them all. The noble king, the gallant knight. It's definitely a hard call. The movie, First Knight, starring Richard Gere as Lancelot and Sean Connery as King Arthur offers a simple solution: kill off the old guy and give the wife and the kingdom to Lancelot. It's a shame, really, I'm totally Team King Arthur. The dude had Excalibur.
Casablanca is considered one of the greatest unrequited love stories of all time. Rick Blaine loves Ilsa Lund and when she reenters his life the two begin a passionate love affair. Yet, in the end, Ilsa chooses to leave Blaine to follow her husband, breaking everyone's heart in the process. Is there a woman in the world who wouldn't pick Rick Blaine over Victor Laszlo? Is there anyone Team Laszlo?
Gone With The Wind
Scarlett O'Hara, why did you not love Rhett? Instead, you just mooned over your sister's insipid husband, Ashley. Puhleaze. Rhett is charming, dashing, a bit of a rogue, passionate and a fabulous father. Ashley? Weak, whiney and a cheater. He's the margarine to Rhett's creamy buttah! Team Rhett.
The Great Gatsby
Perhaps the most complicated love triangle of all is the one in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Jay Gatsby, the dashing millionaire, falls in love with Daisy Buchanan, the wife of Tom Buchanan ( who is having an affair with Myrtle Wilson). After Myrtle is killed in a hit and run, her husband shoots Gatsby and Daisy leaves with Tom. *SPOILER ALERT* The reader eventually learns that Tom Buchanan put Wilson's husband up to it. Frankly, in this situation, I'm Team Nick Caraway.
In the battle for Estelle's cruel heart Pip is definitely the better choice. Although, Estelle, raised to be a maneater by Miss Havisham, is immune to his simple charms. She instead marries the abusive Bentley Drummle, who is actually a perfect match for her. When Drummle dies, Estelle returns to Pip and the novel indicates they will marry. However,in the original draft, Dicken's had Estelle remarry someone else, while Pip remained single. Despite being sad, I am rather partial to the original ending. But I don't really like Pip. Can I pick Team Estelle?
Originally, Louisa May Alcott intended Jo March remain a single woman. But the novel was published in installments in a magazine, and as fans clamored for the Jo and Laurie wedding, Alcott realized that she couldn't let Jo remain single. Not in that century anyway. So, she invented Professor Bhaer, who even Alcott described as a "funny match" for the likes of Jo March. I'm still bitter that Jo and Laurie didn't get married (and not just because Laurie is played by Christian Bale in a film adaptation). Laurie is hot-tempered, exciting, passionate, and deeply in love with Jo. Professor Bhaer is dull and stoic. And all of you who are Team Bhaer cannot convince me otherwise.
Pride and Prejudice
Is this even a contest? Frankly, it's embarrassing that Elizabeth Bennett would even consider George Wickham, that scallywag, who eventually runs away with her younger sister Lydia. This love triangle has been told and retold countless times in film remakes like the movie Bridget Jones Diary and the novel the Jewess and the Gentile. I think the world is basically Team Darcy.
The choice between Edgar Linton and Healthcliff, is really the choice between nature and culture, passion and refinement. Catherine Earnshaw, the heroine of the novel, chooses Linton, but the choice ultimately leads to her demise. Although, Heathcliff is rough, verbally abusive and just plain awful, he has one redeeming feature--how much he loves Catherine. I have to say, if I were Catherine, I would have married Linton too and not (just) for his money, but because he wouldn't yell at me. Call me boring but Team Linton.